What Are The Odds Of Making Money With A Patent?

There's a stat floating around that 5% of inventions make money. That stat is insanely optimistic for a typical independent inventor.

The odds of getting a licensing deal for an average invention that pays income, say upwards of $10,000/year for 5+ years, are probably less than 0.01% (1/10,000). For the best of the best inventions, supported by a team of great professionals, the odds of making $100,000+/year for 5+ years rise to something like 50/50. These guesstimates come from my experience of developing and licensing and manufacturing inventions of our own and from having reviewed over 10,0000 invention submissions over the past 35 years.

The stat that "5% of patents make money" might be true, but only because successful products have multiple patents. An iPhone has thousands of patents covering its technologies; successful products skew patent stats to look far more positive than they actually are for a typical inventor.

Patents are a big help in getting licensing deals. A great licensing deal can enable a very nice life with a great deal of freedom. I speak from experience. That's the motivation for getting a patent.

But patents are complicated and expensive. You need a strategy and a process for determining whether or not an invention should be patented and how to go about it. That's one of the things we do here at Invention City.

- Mike

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